Book Review: 15-Minute Focus: Resilience, Mindset, and Grit 

Resilience, Mindset, and Grit have definitely picked up momentum and become quite the buzz in education, so I was intrigued to read the new 15-minute focus by Dr. Raychelle Lohmann and @nationalcenterforyouthissues

Dr. Lohmann covers a lot in a short amount of time. In fact, she gives you a “taste” of cognitive defusion and using EFT, which I hope encourages you to learn more about these concepts and tools.

What I liked about the book was that it left you with skills you should explicitly teach and ideas for activities that help teach those concepts. (She even includes a great book list at the end.)

We can’t just tell students to have “resilience” or “show grit.” We can’t just award students reliance/grit awards based on our own perspective. We need to teach students skills they can practice and generalize. We need to teach emotional literacy, self-regulation, mindfulness, coping skills, and much more. 

I wish the book had addressed the relationship between trauma and resilience/grit. When we hear the word resilience we think of “bouncing back,” but should we really be asking students to “bounce back” from a trauma? By asking them to be resilient we are also subtly sending the message to them that we need them to “recover” from their trauma which puts the focus and blame on them (the victim) and not the system and perpetrator. 

We also know that several of the skills and activities we may use with students require them to use their PFC or top brain, but that students who have experienced trauma are living in the “lower brain” and reliant on their amygdala. 

Before teaching “grit” consider the following:

– are the student’s basic needs being met?

– how are we building a safe relationship with this student?

– is this student regulated?

– what is in and out of the student’s control?

– what skills does this student need to be taught? can they generalize that skill?

 I encourage you to follow and learn more @the_mindful_psychologist about being trauma-informed and teaching these concepts. Monique is thoughtful and I have been fortunate enough to have discussions and brainstorm with her about how to address teaching my students skills in a safe way.

I love that Dr. Lohmann discusses the importance of gratitude! Check out my FREEBIE quick student check-in with gratitude moment:

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